What is Shuttle Mediation?
Since the law changed on 22 April 2014, most divorcing and separating couples in England and Wales, who want to use the court process to resolve any questions about children or money, have to attend a MIAM appointment to show that they have considered mediation before they can apply for a court order.
Being in the same room with your ex-partner to discuss important decisions is easier said than done when emotions are running high.
Direct communication between separated couples can be difficult or counterproductive when there is built-up frustration, particularly in high-conflict cases. At the Family Meditation Clinic, we offer clients the option of shuttle mediation where this kind of communication breakdown is present. Shuttle mediation is recognised as a suitable type of mediation by the Department Of Justice.
We offer a unique online Shuttle Mediation service. The distinct feature of this service is that meetings are held on Zoom so that clients can attend from the comfort and emotional safety of their own homes.
How does it work?
Shuttle meetings are facilitated by two experienced mediators.
Prior to the session beginning both clients are assigned their private Zoom ‘ breakout room’
This ensures clients never have to see or hear their ex-partner. This is often a huge relief for clients who believe that they will struggle to be in the same room or speak confidently in front of their ex-partner.
During the session the mediators shuttle back and forth between both parties’ separate rooms, conveying messages, proposals, and counterproposals to try and reach agreements and resolve disputes. Discussions can be around finances, child arrangements, or both. In some cases, discussions may be as detailed as ‘who cares for the dog’ or how often the children see their grandparents and wider family.
Shuttle Mediation when there are allegations of domestic abuse.
If you have been the victim of domestic abuse you do not have to attend family mediation. But you do need to provide evidence of the abuse to the court with your application. You will need to show that the other party was arrested for a domestic violence offence or show details of any criminal proceedings.
It may be that domestic abuse has occurred but was never reported, so you are unable to claim an exemption
In some cases, clients may still choose to attempt mediation as it is preferable to a drawn-out court battle with their ex-partner.
In situations such as those above, Shuttle Mediation is a good option to allow discussions to take place safely.
The mediator plays a crucial role in maintaining a calm, neutral atmosphere and ensuring that each party’s concerns are heard and understood.